Unfortunately some sad news to report today. Taku Iwasa announced his retirement at the latest Buyuden due to injuries sustained to his neck. Shingo Takagi and fans apparently managed to talk him out of an actual retirement and to take an indefinite leave of absence, but it would appear a return would seem unlikely.
Iwasa was an original T2P graduate but took his time really finding his place in the roster. After failing to form his own stable with Raimu Mishima, known as Iwasa Gundam, he and Mishima formed one of the most successful comedy duos in recent wrestling memory known as the Florida Brothers. He and Mishima adopted over the top American personas and would win their matches by feigning chair attacks from their opponents leading to disqualifications in their favour. Their promos also consisted of great comedic moments with their use of broken english.
While the Florida Brothers were inarguably popular, it was inevitable that both Iwasa and Mishima must move forward with their careers. Mishima was to become Dr Muscle and join the then top heel group Muscle Outlawz but unfortunately injuries forced him into retirement. Iwasa on the other hand joined new Dragon Gate NEX member Akira Tozawa and became a member of Tozawajuku along with Dragon Gate mainstay, Kenichiro Arai. Iwasa and Arai began pairing as a tag team which lead to a revitalisation both wrestlers including a reign with the Twin Gate belts. Some would say that they are one of the best tag teams Dragon Gate has produced and I find that a tough point to argue against.
After the dissolution of Tozawajuku, Iwasa joined the newly formed KAMIKAZE group led by Shingo Takagi. Here he has seen success in the triangle division but injuries have unfortunately plagued him to the point where we currently stand.
Of course it is not unheard of that wrestlers can come back after serious neck injuries, I mean, just look at Yasushi Kanda, who was forced to retire for over 2 years due to neck injuries. Hopefully Iwasa will stay around in Dragon Gate in some administrative capacity until he is ready to return, but so far no news has been made about such a thing. KAMIKAZE and Dragon Gate in general will certainly miss one of the brightest stars in the company, as of course, will all of us.
Get well soon Taku!